Sunday, January 2, 2011

Post Office Irony and Oatmeal Cookies

On December 30th, I decided to go mail my resume to a news organization I am hoping to get an internship for.  The post office inside the Wilk usually services my mailing needs but on this particular day, this location was closed. You mean I actually have to go further than 2 blocks from campus to do something other than grocery shop?

Ok fine. I made it all the way down to 100 south and 100 west. The first time, I drove right past the post office without realizing it. Wondering if maybe they had relocated because of Nu Skin purchasing 100 West, I thought it must be around here somewhere. I had seen a mail delivery truck right behind me. I circled the block and realized it was just on the other corner. I only checked two of the four corners.

As I am pulling into the parking lot, I see a sign that says something to the effect of, "Fifteen minute parking for post office customers only" followed by some other words. I dwelt on that for a minute and then parked. Thursday afternoon at 2:30 couldn't be that busy. Oh but it was. For the first ten minutes, there was only one attendant working. Not surprising. My mom related to me a story of standing in line at the post office during the Christmas rush and how you'd be lucky if you could get out in under an hour. I think I had about 7 people in front of me in line. Then the second attendant came back. But, he spent about 10 minutes with one customer.

Then a man walks up to the counter with about five small packages. My theory is he was shipping bombs to all parts of the world. Whatever the case, these boxes were going to places like Canada and Brazil. He was one of those customers who did extensive market research on exactly how much he would expect to spend on his packages before stepping foot in the post office. This made it difficult for the poor attendant. He would quote the customer a price and the customer would go on about how he looked the price up online and it should be something different. He was with the attendant for about 15 minutes before it was my turn with the other attendant. I am pleased to say my postal needs were met within 60 seconds. It was a heavy, odd-shaped envelope and I just didn't know how much postage it would require. The postal man figured it out fast. I felt a sense of pride. I knew the lady standing behind me was absolutely elated because I was so fast. Most of the customers were taking 5 minutes each at the counter. I left the post office and mr international-packages was still there. I estimate he was there at least 15 minutes. He could have been there longer. I have no way of knowing because I was out of there.

As I walked out of the post office I saw the automated postage machine and wondered if that would have worked for my needs. Maybe I will check it out next time. My total time spent in the post office was 25 minutes. The irony is that the post office only allows for 15 minute parking. Go figure.

In other news,  I have been on a quest to find the best oatmeal raisin cookie recipe. A friend of mine revealed that is his favorite cookie and I am determined to impress with my domestic cooking skills. Guys like cookies, right? A few months ago I searched the internet. Found about two or three recipes I wanted to try. But then they just sat in a folder for a few months. Over the break I have decided I have time to bake. I looked the recipes over and picked the one I think sounded the best.

I could write an entire blog on the differences between the recipes but I wont. I'll simply say, I think most recipes are afraid of nutmeg. Don't fear the nutmeg. It does wonders to your oatmeal raisin cookies. (On a side note, I keep typing raising every time I attempt raisins).

The first time I made the recipe,  I used margarine. Epic mistake. I was at the grocery store looking in the butter section and saw a brand and wondered, "Why is this brand of butter so cheap? Significantly cheaper than the rest" so I grabbed it. When I got home I realized, it was margarine. The box says they are "better for baking buttery sticks" so in my defense, I was easily fooled. I made the recipe anyway. It tasted wonderful! It cooked terribly. Stupid margarine.

Today I decided to cut the recipe in half and use butter instead of margarine. After realizing I had to adjust the cook time so the cookies dont burn, I decided they are okay. The texture was good. They werent too flat. The color was alright. But  I decided this time they didn't taste right. They have less "kick" to them than the first attempt did. I think it has something to do with the nutmeg.

So, I will try this recipe one more time by following each step exactly. No substitute ingredients. No halving the recipe. We'll see how that works. If it doesn't, I will forever abandon recipe A and try an adapted version of the standard oatmeal raisin cookie recipe found on the Quaker oatmeal container. So continues the quest for the perfect oatmeal raisin cookie.

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